February 19, 2015
In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, periodicals, and comics.
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal's premiere independent bookstores.
by Elisa Albert
In After Birth, Elisa Albert tackles the subject of childbirth and motherhood with visceral honesty. Ari, mother to a one year old child feels adrift in her new role as a parent after moving to a small town in upstate New York with her much older partner. It seems she may have a potential friend (or frenemy?) when Mina, nine months pregnant, and a former bass-player for a 1980s girl-group, comes to town. As the two women navigate new motherhood and friendship, Albert pulls no punches, turning her narrative lens on love, marriage, feminism, identity, and female friendship with blistering wit.
by Yuya Sato
Protagonist Kayu finds herself abandoned in a snowy mountain range, victim of the historical Japanese practice of ubasute, which entails bringing elderly people to a remote place to die. However, rather than simply succumbing to the elements, Kayu discovers that she is in Dendera, a utopian society built by fellow elderly women who have been left to die by their families over the years. The community must band together when the threat of a hungry mother bear looms. Sato's "strange fiction" elegantly employs aspects of the fantasy/sci-fi genre with a literary prose style, resulting in a highly unique narrative voice.
Inspired by Fernando Pessoa's Livro do Desassossego, translated in English as The Book of Disquiet, the latest issue from Baltic Comics Magazine Kuš! is dedicated to comics from Portugal. This issue features a very nice introduction to Portuguese comics by guest editor Marcos Farrajota (of Chili com Carne) with some thoughts on the theme of disquiet. Including work from an impressive list of contributors, S! 20 is a perfect way to get a taste of the contemporary Portugese comics scene.
by Laura van den Berg
Laura van den Berg's first foray into novel-length fiction is a gripping, suspenseful take on the dystopian near-future genre. When the USA is swept by a highly contagious epidemic that causes memory loss, followed by complete amnesia leading to death, protagonist Joy is one of the few people immune to the disease. As such, she finds herself confined to a Kafkaesque hospital, where news of the disintegrating society is carefully kept from patients. Upon her eventual escape, Joy flees from Kansas to Florida in search of the birth-mother who abandoned her, encountering many bizarre situations and people along the way. At once a meditation on a post-apocalyptic America and a story of a young woman's journey to self-realization, van den Berg's debut novel is not to be missed.
The BOOKMOBILE Book
by Leila Pourtavaf
The BOOKMOBILE Book brings to life the projet MOBILIVRE BOOKMOBILE project, an exhibition of artist books, zines and independent publications that traveled across the US and Canada from 2001-2005. Along the way, the organizers also gave a lot of workshops and talks, and collaborated with many amazing groups and individuals. This publication tells the tales of the making and of the doing, from the road and from the studio. With reflective essays that examine some of the contemporary motivations and inspirations for the project, the book also contains many photographs, selections of books and zines that were part of the BOOKMOBILE’s touring collections, tour guide diaries, and of course, comics!
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)